The final curtains came down on the 2018-2019 World Arc on Saturday evening at the Royal Saint Lucian Hotel in Rodney Bay, a very fitting venue for the finale of such a successful event.
By all reports, after sailing over 26,000 nautical miles and visiting 17 countries, the rally has safely supported the 18 yachts and their crew members.
Assembling before dinner, the sailors met with representatives from the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA), Events Saint Lucia (ESL), the World Cruising Club (WCC) and the media, as they were welcomed with Saint Lucia’s rum punch and sweet steel pan music played by Aimran Simmons, followed by a fabulous Caribbean dinner.
The small group of sailors has gotten to know each other well over the past year; forming great friendships and enjoying the close-knit family feel of the rally.
According to Galen Salgado, WCC Event Manager, thirteen yachts started 16 months ago; three started in 2017; one departed Saint Lucia in 2016 and last but not least, one reached the halfway mark having crossed two oceans. On Saturday evening, he gave an overview of the many stops/countries visited along the journey.
After dinner, it was time for a prize-giving ceremony by Andrew Bishop, Managing Director of World Cruising Club for the official celebrations. Bishop shared his appreciation for the fleet and the warm welcome to Saint Lucia. He said, “Saint Lucia is the only place you get to visit twice and how fortunate we are to have a tremendous host here with the Saint Luca Tourism Authority and Events Company of Saint Lucia. Organising your departure and now your welcome back.”
Also addressing the gathering was Jackie Mathurin from the SLTA who again welcomed the participants to Saint Lucia.
Mathurin said, “On behalf of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, we are extremely proud to be associated with this world-class event. The World ARC 2018-2019 has officially come to an end; however in January of 2018 you started on an incredible journey out of the IGY Rodney Bay Marina – you completed a voyage of a lifetime.”
“For 16 months you navigated 26,000 nautical miles,” she continued. “We can’t imagine the adventures that you have seen and what you have accomplished. We are extremely proud of you. What better place to return to, than the island that inspired you from the beginning? We are so excited to have you back and be part of World ARC 2018-2019.
“We celebrate the tremendous growth of the World ARC for many years and embrace this opportunity to collaborate with World Cruising Club, Events Company of Saint Lucia and with all of our partners who continue to support this event.”
To the Managing Director of the World Cruising Club Andrew Bishop, she expressed, “your continued support to Saint Lucia as a destination is highly appreciated, and we thank you for collaborating with us year after year.”
Galen Salgado, World ARC Event Manager then called each fleet individually on stage to present awards and certificates of circumnavigation.
With the awards complete, warm thanks were given to the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and Events Saint Lucia. Crews then made their way to the hotel bar, where they danced to a number of top hits from a live DJ. Judging from the look of things, the crews thoroughly enjoyed their final function to round off the rally!